‘Attak on Titan’ Manga vs. Anime Ending, Explained

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Attack on Titan and its end.

After the controversial conclusion of the manga, Attack on Titan fans were eagerly waiting for an anime adaptation to amend certain things. But how different are the two ends?

Despite months of public speculation, the Attack on Titan The series finale stayed mostly true to Hajime Isayama’s manga and featured the remaining Eldian protagonists and Marleyan Warriors as part of the story’s final arc, “The Battle of Heaven and Earth,” as they worked together to defeat Eren bring down

Eventually, Armin managed to convince Zeke to fight back, and with that Titans from the past rose from Eren’s skeletal body and helped the heroes against Ymir’s spawn. Jean and Pieck blew Eren’s nappies, releasing the parasite known as “the source of all living matter”. The Rumbling stopped, but Eren transformed into Colossal again and the parasite went to reunite with him and once again wreak havoc.

Left with no choice, Mikasa and Levi flew their way through the debris, the former killing Eren and ending the fight. Until then, the manga and anime followed roughly the same direction, with minor differences here and there. For example, the action scenes in the anime work better thanks to MAPPA’s talented artists, and sequences are expanding on Isayama’s choreography, but overall, there wasn’t much difference between the two.

That, of course, brings us to “Towards the Trees on That Hill”, which is not only the last chapter in the manga but also the most controversial.

Attack on Titan anime ending vs manga ending

through MAPPA

“Toward the Tree On That Hill” begins much the same way as the manga version, with younger versions of Armin and Eren dating in Shiganshina. Eren explains to Armin that his biting words were only meant to drive them away. Armin says that Eren always wanted the Scout Regiment to stop him and the Rumbling, thus going down as an “Eldian warrior who saved the world.”

Eren then takes Armin to see a river of lava, something his younger versions dreamed of seeing and called “water for him”. The video ends with Eren confessing his love to Mikasa, and saying that he doesn’t want to die. This is the only major difference between the manga and the anime finale.

In the first issue of Isayama, Armin thanks Eren for “being a giant killer for us.” ​​​​Fans found this performance to be not only completely out of character for Armin, but also extremely whacky given the circumstances. Isayama himself also regretted including it, which is why the anime version changed it to better reflect the seriousness of the story.

In this version, Armin takes partial responsibility for the disaster and promises Eren that they will be “together in hell” for killing 80 percent of the world’s population. The two friends hug and accept the inevitability of this outcome, even if it was Eren and his obsession with freedom that really ended humanity.

Mikasa Ackerman in the 'Attack on Titan' finale
Mikasa discovers that Eren’s spirit is still with her in the series finale of ‘Attack on Titan’ / Image via MAPPA

Other minor changes in this part include Eren and Mikasa’s final goodbye. In the manga, those scenes were more extensive and detailed, but the anime chose to have a more subtle version. The rest of these scenes are one-on-one adaptations, like Mikasa lying under the tree where Eren is buried.

Attack on Titan Ends on a somber note, showing that the Eldians and the rest of the world will continue to fight despite all this bloodshed and sacrifice. History repeats itself, and over time, the island of Paradis is destroyed by bombs and missiles. Here, the only difference between the Anime and the Manga is in the understanding of the Paradis buildings. In the manga, they appear to be imitations of our own modern structures, but in the anime, they are futuristic skyscrapers.

Overall, it’s safe to say that MAPPA Attack on Titan The finale stayed true to Isayama’s vision, so we’ll have to wait to see if the anime fans are more satisfied or just as underwhelming as the manga.

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